Skip to main content

Documenting Tragedy: Tragic Rhetoric in Documentary Film and Mass Media (Wilson PWR 2) Winter 2008

Documenting Tragedy: Tragic Rhetoric in Documentary Film and Mass Media
Instructor: Kristi Wilson
Librarian: Molly Molloy,

Getting Started:
From the Library home page, under Research Help, see Research Quick Start Guides:

Guide for PWR Students: - links to Image Sources
Film Studies

Reference Materials - to help you find more information on your topic, limit your topic, and find keywords to use in online catalogs and databases

In the Information Center:

  • International dictionary of films and filmmakers. 4 vols. PN1997.8 .I58 1997
  • LoBrutto, Vincent. The encyclopedia of American independent filmmaking. PN1993.45 .L63 2002
  • Media review digest. 1970-2006. Z5784 .M9 M85
  • New dictionary of the history of ideas. (also online in Databases, under Dictionary...., New) 6 vols. CB9 .N49 2005; See article on: “Tragedy and comedy”, volume 6
  • Variety international film guide. Annual. Latest in IC: 2006; PN1993.3 .I544
  • Other reference materials may be in the HASRC (Lane Reading Room):
    Encyclopedia of the documentary film. 3 vols. PN1995.9 .D6 E53 2006

    You can also try the Database: Reference Universe

    Finding Books

    Use the Library catalog, Socrates
    Try keywords in SIMPLE Search (Search Everything) to find good books and then try the subject words in those records.

    Also BROWSE subjects, Documentary, Mass media, etc.

    Some good subject words are:

  • Documentary films
  • Documentary-style films and history and criticism
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in motion pictures
  • Mass media - can add "political aspects" plus country or war, or "psychological aspects"
  • “Motion pictures” (not movies)
  • Psychic trauma in motion pictures
  • September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001- personal narratives
  • Some relevant books:

  • Constructing America's war culture: Iraq, media, and images at home. DS79.76 .C6625 2008 (on-order 1/25/08)
  • Cunningham, Megan. The art of the documentary: ten conversations with leading directors, cinematographers, editors, and producers. (Including Errol Morris and Albert Mayles) PN1995.9 .D6 C86 2005
  • Documentary in the digital age. PN1995.9 .D6 B35 2006
  • Film out of bounds: essays and interviews on non-mainstream cinema worldwide. PN1994 .F439134 2007 (HASRC=Lane Room, HAS New Books is the location in Socrates)
  • Hogarth, David. Realer than reel: global directions in documentary. PN1995.9 .DH56 2006
  • Jolliffe, Genevieve. The documentary film makers handbook. PN1995.9 .J61 2006
  • Kaplan, E. Ann. Trauma culture: the politics of terror and loss in media and literature. Note: long bibliography. Table of contents online. PN1995.9 .T46 K37 2005
  • Walker, Janet. Trauma cinema: documenting incest and the Holocaust. PN1995.9 .D6 W26 2005
  • Hint: Browse the call numbers in the stacks to find even more books and journals. You can also browse (one library at a time) online using the "Call No. Browse" in Socrates.

    Finding Articles: Journals and Databases


    Browse in Current Periodicals - around "Cine" for Cineaction, Cineaste, Cinema Journal, and "Film" for Film Studies, Film History, Film Criticism, etc.

    E-journals: search by title word: film, cinema, media

  • Film Quarterly (hardcopy in HASRC)
  • Journal of popular film and television (hardcopy in Current Periodicals)
  • Journal of popular culture (hardcopy in Current Periodicals)
  • Media, Culture & Society
  • Media psychology
  • also browse by subject:
    Communication, media, and journalism
    Magazines and Newspapers

    Databases - search by title or subject: Communication and journalism, Film and media studies, News

    General databases:
    Academic Search Premier (can simultaneously search Business Source Complete and Film & Television Literature Index via EBSCOhost)
    Expanded Academic ASAP

    Alt-Press Watch
    Alternative Press Index – independent press
    Business Source Complete - indexes the journal: Shoot! (tv and motion picture advertising)
    Communication Studies – mass communication, media studies
    Film & Television Literature Index
    Global NewsBank – includes access by subject, hot topics, special reports

    Finding Films

    Use Combined Search in Socrates and limit the Format to Films/Visual or Genre (or keyword): documentary. (Most are in Media Microtext.)
    Hurricane on the bayou. (Katrina) 2007. ZDVD 14789
    Million voices for Darfur. 2006. ZDVD 13735
    Subject: “September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001” and Genre: documentary = 8, including:
    Parallel lines. 2006. ZDVD 13020

    On the Library homepage, see How do I find? News Sources - by geographical area and subject

    Important URLs - see Del.ici.ous tags


    General: Librarians' Internet Index - interdisciplinary, annotated database

    Documentary and Ethnographic Film, UC Berkeley Library, Media Resources Center: we may have some of these sources, also lists articles on individual films and filmmakers
    Huffington Post: see “Media news and opinion” section
    Internet Archive: (on Holocaust=143 citations)
    Internet Movie Database: Under individual title, see left column: Under "Awards and Reviews" - see "External reviews"; under "Other info" see "Literature listings"
    Media Education Foundation - also search as author in Socrates
    New York Times Movie Reviews – goes back 20 years

    Post new comment

    The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.